An ending and a beginning as Gallifrey: Time War concludes and a new Rassilon is born
It is the end but the moment has been prepared for. Big Finish have announced that the fourth volume of Gallifrey: Time War will bring the saga to a deadly conclusion. What’s more, it will reveal the rise of a new incarnation of Rassilon. Richard Matthews originated the role of Rassilon, the ancient leader of the Time Lords and architect of their civilization, in the The Five Doctors. Since then Timothy Dalton and Donald Sumpter have played him on television, and Don Warrington and Terrence Harridman for Big Finish. Last heard in Gallifrey: Time War being forced to regenerate by an attempted assassination, we now know his new face. In face we know it very well indeed – Richard Armitage!
A celebrated star of stage and screen, Armitage will be known to many as Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit trilogy. And also for his roles in Captain America (as the HYDRA saboteur) and in Star Wars Episode I. And, of course, he appeared on TV’s Robin Hood as the villainous, but conflicted, Guy of Gisbourne. Most recently, he scored a high profile hit, alongside Big Finish stalwart Jacob Dudman, with Netflix’s The Stranger.
“I grew up on Doctor Who”
Speaking of his pleasure at being cast in such an iconic role, Armitage said “Rassilon is one of those defining spines of this lore. I’ve watched enough sci-fi to know that there has to be an omnipotent being that has a self-aggrandising mental state which puts him above everybody else, like a malevolent, maniacal dictator.
“I grew up with Doctor Who,” he remembers, “The Daleks and the Cybermen were definitely my ‘hiding behind the sofa’ baddies. But I loved being frightened. Tom Baker was my Doctor Who. He had that voice. In a way, what I have tried to do with Rassilon is a little bit Tom Baker-esque.”
Armitage has been on Big Finish’s wish list for a while
Scott Handcock, the producer and director of Time War: Gallifrey, was just as pleased with the casting coup “It’s been a pleasure to induct Richard Armitage into the Doctor Who universe! He’s such a brilliant actor. I loved him in Hannibal and most recently The Stranger, plus of course Big Finish’s own adaptation of The Martian Invasion of Earth, so he’d been on my wish list for a while. I’d just been waiting for the right role to come along. And he’s fantastic as Rassilon: powerful, headstrong and overflowing with self-conviction. ”
Many familiar names will be returning for this final reckoning, too, including Louise Jameson (Leela), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Livia), Seán Carlsen (Narvin), Miles Richardson (Braxiatel), Samuel Clemens (Mantus) and Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks.
This final chapter of Gallifrey: Time War features four climactic stories
Deception by Lisa McMullin
Dissolution by Lou Morgan
Beyond by David Llewellyn
Homecoming by Matt Fitton
Gallifrey: Time War Volume 4
Romana is lost to the Time War though Leela and Narvin still fight to survive.
A resistance, caught between Rassilon’s fury and the Dalek Emperor’s mania, have a desperate plan to stop the conflict.
Everything ends. And for some on Gallifrey, the Time War will soon be over.
Gallifrey: Time War 4 is now available to pre-order at the special price of £22.99 as a collector’s edition five-disc CD box set or £19.99 as a download, exclusively from the Big Finish website: www.bigfinish.com. It’s due for release in February 2021.